Five questions with . . . Bill Morris


Five questions with Dunedin filmmaker, writer and musician Bill Morris

Q1. What is your role as a filmmaker, how long have you been in it and what does it involve?

I specialise in wildlife filming and other documentary work. I work for several clients, including NHNZ, shooting wildlife and directing stories.

I’ve worked a lot for NHNZ over the last 10 years.

My last big job for them was shooting the Auckland Islands episode of Our Big Blue Backyard, during which I spent two amazing months on Enderby Island amid sea lions, penguins and albatross.

Q2. Besides filmmaking, what else do you do?

I write for magazines including New Zealand Geographic, mostly about science and nature.

I’m a musician and have a few bands going in Dunedin, including a new funk and jazz-based experimental band called Ultramafic and the Hinterland Band which is more country-folk rock-oriented.

Q3. What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on?

My favourite film project was the feature documentary I finished last year – The Sound of Her Guitar, which is the story of New Zealand songwriter Donna Dean and her struggle to escape a life of alcohol and violence to follow her musical dreams.

It was a passion project and a deeply fulfilling film to make, as I’ve seen Donna’s story reach people on a very deep level.

Q4. How did you first become interested in filming?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in writing, photography and music.

Filmmaking combines all those elements so in some ways I think I was always destined to be a filmmaker .. no other job suits me as well.

Q5. What’s on the horizon project-wise this year?

I’m working on a book about fossils and continental drift.

I’m also keeping a couple of film projects on the boil and hoping to get stuck into a lot of wildlife filming later in the year.

Also recording a couple of albums – one with Ultramafic and another of my own songs. Not sure how I’m going to squeeze all that in, but can only try.

Overloading myself with projects is something I’m prone to do, so have to try to manage that.